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Maricela Antonio

Artisan Organization: Maricela Antonio

Country: Mexico

"I'm Maricela Eduwiges Antonio Velazco. I was born in Oaxaca and my family heritage is barro negro, or black pottery. I was very, very young when they taught me this artisan activity on a daily basis.

"After school, we'd create something every day. In this way, we contributed a bit to the family finances and, little by little, I came to realize the incredible artistry I had in my hands. My passion for preserving black pottery flourished. "It's wonderful to be able to take an image from your imagination and translate it clearly into something real. It's even better to be able to share it.

"Every day, I feel a responsibility to create something new and beautiful in this lovely ceramic style.

"I think my favorite part of the process is when my hands are buried deep in the clay and I can feel it. I know that the tiny particles of powdered clay will become a beautiful piece of ceramic art that will fulfill someone's dream. I realize then that, in some way, we share our perception and sensitivity.

"What I'm grateful for every single day is that clay taught me the value of hard and disciplined work. But this would mean nothing without patience; without patience, all my ideas would stay in my mind, neither seen nor shared.

"Everything I design is based on our cultural roots and our millennial history and knowledge.

"The clay we use is mined nearby and each part of the process is creative. I enjoy it but, above all, the sensation of clay in my hands is most gratifying.

"I want with my whole heart to convey my Zapotec origins in each of my designs. To convey my delight in doing what I love best in a career that takes me on a journey of adventure.""